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Standard Tap Burger

I ┬áhope y’all know that Philly Fringe is going on right now. In case you don’t, give it a go! After checking out a fringe event, we mosied, and we actually mosied, over to Standard Tap. I’d been here for drinks, but never food. I guess it’s been a long time coming. Their menu changes frequently and is written on chalkboards. Man, I have terrible eyesight. I always have to walk over and stand right in front of it. They had a wide range of options available, but in the end, we both went for the burger. People rave about it, so I had to check it out.
The burger! It’s served with cheese and a thick slice of seared onion, mushrooms, lettuce and tomato on ciabatta bread. You also get a heap of fries and some pickles. The burger is really good! It was juicy and cooked to what I asked for, and the toppings were good. The giant slice of tomato was incredibly flavorful! The fries are great too. My only problem was with the bread. The outside of the bread is so hard and inflexible that when I was trying to bite into the burger, the inflexibility of the bread made all of the innards be pushed out. So it often ended up being a mess. M just ignored the bread completely and just stuck to the innards. I also would have preferred that the onions were cooked more, but that wasn’t a big deal. All in all, a very solid burger.

Standard Tap on Urbanspoon

Frankford Hall

We stopped by Frankford Hall to celebrate Indy Hall’s 4th birthday. The crowd wasn’t the Rittenhouse crowd that K and I had witnessed during our last quick visit. It was also a beautiful night, so being outside was beyond awesome. You order your food at the window and get a number. Then one of the servers will bring everything out to you. As far as beer goes, there are several bars to choose from with a variety of beers.
I asked M how her burger was and she loved it. And they have a large condiment table and she raved about the curry ketchup. I also asked for her pickle, since she didn’t eat it, and damn, this pickle was awesome! I’m not sure if they make these there or if they buy them, but they were super fresh and only lightly pickled and I loved it.
K’s hot bauernwurst was good, but not spicy at all. You get a choice of sauerkraut or cabbage when you order a sausage. He went with the cabbage because I suggested it. It’s good!
And here’s my giant pretzel! It’s big, it’s warm, it’s good. It really does go well with beer. We really had fun. I love the whole picnic tables everywhere and casual outdoor atmosphere. The beer and food treated us all well.

Frankford Hall on Urbanspoon

Brauhaus Schmitz Doner Kebab

I fell in love with doner kebabs when I took a couple of business trips to germany years back. They were unlike anything I had before, and it was instant love. I had many of them throughout germany, but the best one I’ve ever had was in a random shop in Schwabisch Hall. I still dream about it. If you’re ever there, go to the main public parking lot in the city center and when you walk right out of it, past the pay machines, there’s a doner kebab shop. That’s the place. BEST. DONER. KEBAB. EVER. I haven’t had one for a long time. I’ve tried reasonable but disappointing facsimiles in Ireland and Italy, but it’s nothing like a genuine german doner kebab. They’ve somehow taken a turkish street food and evolved it all into an amazing german treat. I haven’t yet experienced a real doner kebab shop in the US. Years ago, there was a random coffee shop on Chestnut Street that supposedly served them, but when I went back there a few weeks later, it had already become a purse shop. Cue the sad face. So when I read that Brauhaus Schmitz was serving them during the soccer season, I had to give it a whirl! They’re only available on the weekend, and only for the soccer season. We enjoyed some delicious beers while we waited, patiently.
They’re typically served with fries, but you can also substitute other sides. I got the cabbage. This doner kebab surprised me. First, the bread was great. It’s actually pretty damn important how the bread is. It’s definitely not thin, limp, pita bread. It’s called fladenbrot, and it does have some heft, but it’s not thick like a regular sandwich roll. They got the bread just right. On the inside they have lamb, along with shredded red onions, red cabbage, pickles, and tomatoes, along with a yogurt-based sauce. While it tasted fairly good, I would have changed a few things. There was way too much meat in here, and it was in really thick slices, like a brisket, but not nice and evenly sliced. It was just random hunks of thick slices. It just ended up being overly stuffed and made it difficult to maneuver. If you get genuine doner kebabs, the spits of meat have slices of the meat wrapped up into a cylinder shape. And the meat is literally shaved off, by something not too far off from clippers, so the meat actually ends up being in little pieces… resembling the shape of slivered almonds, but a little bigger. And the pickles were strange to me. I was much more used to cucumbers. Also, in germany, you always have the option of getting a spicy sauce as well. And there is also some spicy flakes you can shake on, but I have no idea what it’s made of. It still remains a mystery to me. Oh, and the thing is huge! I could not finish it! Also, the fries that come with are great. And my cabbage was plentiful and delicious… if you’re into sour cabbage!
I thoroughly appreciate their valiant effort in serving up doner kebabs in philadelphia. It really made me happy, and a bit wistful. Now I really want to go to germany to have the real thing! But if this is as close as I can get, then it’s still a great substitute. Thanks Brauhaus Schmitz!

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